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Ghost Story: A Modern Business Fable

Ghost Story: A Modern Business Fable

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Lying untapped within the workforce is a source of power that resides in the ideas and experiences of individuals. Once combined, this "cumulative wisdom" has the potential to become an organization’s strongest competitive advantage.

Ghost Storyis a business fable about the power of collaboration -- and why people don't tell what they know. The story begins when the heroine, Dot (short for Dorothy), becomes the newest member of a cross-functional team formed to solve a major corporate problem. Intimidated by other members, and overwhelmed by the fact that the rotating leadership position will be hers the following Monday, Dot sits alone in the team’s conference room Friday evening, commiserating with "her only friend in the place," a bonsai tree. When the tree starts talking back, the reader and Dot are swept into a fantasy world where Dot is again asked to lead a team. Although her team members are unique - this time they include a magpie who hoards information, a 5-and-a-half-foot tall index finger who blames her mistakes on others, a pig in an Admiral’s costume who "protects" staff by keeping them uninformed, the 3-year old head of IT who speaks only "dribble", and a Martian who is afraid to contribute because he’s an outsider- their reasons for refusing to collaborate are all too familiar.

Dot's adventures in this parallel universe mirror her real-life challenges. Dot, herself, is an example of what educators refer to as "unconscious competence." Simply put, she doesn't know what she knows. At the conclusion of the story, of course, it is her courage, strength, and innate wisdom that save the day. By the end of the book, Dot learns to value her own knowledge and to help the team members see the advantages of open collaboration.